Donald Guthrie

July 1933-November 2023

Donald Guthrie, 89, passed away peacefully on November 18, 2022, with family by his side.

He was born to Donald and Clair Guthrie in Eureka, California, on July 8, 1933, the fourth of six generations to carry the same name. Don graduated high school at 16 and then soon graduated from Stanford University with his Ph.D. in statistics. Over the many decades of his career, Don taught and researched at a number of institutions, most notably Oregon State University and UCLA.

Throughout his career, Don was an innovator in the use of modern computing in statistics. His research and publications primarily examined child psychiatry and statistical computing. He was elected Fellow of the American Statistical Association and received the Founder’s Award, as well as the Harvard Award for Psychiatric Epidemiology and Biostatistics in 2013. He was the primary or co-author on over two hundred publications and reports, and while he formally transitioned to Emeritus status at UCLA in 1994, it’s unclear whether he ever actually retired!

His passion for baseball crept into his work, including the editing of a special section of the Journal of the American Statistical Association related to statistics in sports. While he may not have been able to see the Mariners win the World Series, he was delighted to watch their playoff drought end this year. In addition to a love of baseball, Don became an avid runner, participating in numerous marathons—some more than once—including Boston, New York, Seattle, Los Angeles, and Avenue of the Giants.

He and the love of his life Janet were married in 1954, and they traveled the world after their children were grown, returning each time with an abundance of stories. He loved telling people that the best way to recognize an American driver in England was that they’d be turning on their windshield wipers instead of their turn signals. They spent countless evenings enjoying a symphony or opera performance, and as they transitioned into retirement, Don and Janet moved to Bainbridge Island, WA, to be closer to the younger generations of their family. Don was a fixture in the community, known by everyone from the hardware store to his favorite ice cream shop. And on any sunny day, you would be sure to see him taking a long, slow drive with the top down on his convertible – and a baseball cap on his head.

He was exceptionally proud of his three grandchildren, and his professional experience witnessing the power of computing inspired him to make sure that they had access to, and an understanding of computers, at an early age. He was a fan of new technology, often trying out the latest and greatest before anyone else in the family to the delight of the grandchildren and the consternation of his wife!

Don was preceded in death by his parents, and is survived by his wife Janet, his sister Jean, his children Don (Candace) and Sarah (Jon), his grandchildren C.J. (Ryan), Donald “Jack” (Stephanie), and McCage (Jennifer), and his great-grandchildren Corin and Rhys.

The family asks that you set out a bowl of peanut M&Ms for your guests, to honor the sweet tooth of a great man.